Dr. William Lynn Weaver has given us the gift of wisdom over the years through his many StoryCorps interviews, including his experience integrating into his high school’s all-white football team, and memories of the most important man in his life.

But in this episode of the podcast, you’ll hear about a lesson he learned on the day before Christmas when he was 18 years old. It happened in Mechanicsville, a black working-class neighborhood in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Weaver died in May 2019.

Next, we’ll hear from from Thompson Williams and his son Kiamichi-tet. They came to StoryCorps in 2014 to talk about Thompson’s father — and Kiamichi-tet’s grandfather — Melford Williams, a tribal leader with the Caddo Nation in Oklahoma and a World War II veteran.  

During that conversation, they also remembered a family Christmas in 2001.

They were living in Edmond, Oklahoma at the time. Kiamichi-tet was 11 years old and his sister, AuNane, was 14. Thompson was a teacher’s assistant for students with special needs — work he loved but that didn’t pay well. His wife was an artist, selling paintings and handmade Christmas ornaments.

As the holidays approached, Thompson realized they wouldn’t have money for gifts, and he was faced with a difficult decision. But, as he remembers here, it was his children who would help him make the right choice.


Top photo: Artwork by Lindsay Mound.
Middle photo: William Lynn Weaver in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2017. 
Bottom photo: Thompson Williams with his son Kiamichi-tet in 2014 at their StoryCorps recording in Denver, Colorado. 

Released on December 24, 2019.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
“Heat and Memory” by Jarrett Floyd
“NirvanaVEVO” by Chris Zabriskie from the album Undercover Vampire Policeman
“Elegiac” by Bryan Copeland